With Zubie, Your Car Tells You Exactly What’s Wrong

June 14, 2013

5:00 pm

Did you know that all cars manufactured for sale within the US, since 1996, have an onboard diagnostics (OBD2) port? Go check around the base of your steering wheel, right above your brake and gas pedals; it is there.

The OBD2 port was originally designed to help with emissions testing, but as technology evolved, so did the port. A multitude of codes are associated with the OBD2 port that provide details about your car, and every manufacturer has their own codes for their vehicles.

However, Zubie has spent the last 15 years aggregating code data for the public in an effort to display all relevant data about your car through a standalone smartphone app. The app draws its data from the Zubie key OBD2 device that plugs right into your car.

“We want to make every car a connected car,” says Tim Kelly, CEO. “There are so many valuable things in your life that are connected to the web, but the car is absent from that universe.”

The Zubie key is wireless, has a T-Mobile data connected chip, a GPS chip, an accelerometer, and an onboard computer inside it. Specific codes about the status of your car are sent to the Zubie key which, thanks to the code database, translates that data for the smartphone app.

“Connectivity is just the beginning. Think back to the heart rate monitor; it told you want you wanted to know in real-time,” explains Navin Ganeshan, VP Product Management. “But the advent of the Nike FuelBand took that data and reapplied it on many different layers. Zubie is comparable to the Fuel band in terms of how we relay vehicle data.”

Since the key and the app operate autonomously and communicate via Zubie’s dedicated cloud service, you can be on the East Coast and see if your car battery is drained on the West Coast or if somebody is moving your car.

With Zubie, users can set up geofences to track exactly where family cars are driving and if they are where they need to be. You can optimize your morning commute by knowing exactly how much gas you used, how fast you drove, and how your vehicle performed.

If your check engine light comes on, you get an instant notification from the Zubie key that tells you exactly what is wrong with your car, how to fix it, and how much it will cost: the days of getting hustled by mechanics are over.

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Zubie is still in prelaunch, but they are expecting to have their app completed near the end of July. Knowledge is power, and Zubie empowers its users for only $99.95 a year. That is almost what it costs for a tank of gas in California these days, and I’d rather pay for knowledge any day of the week.

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Will is a Senior Writer with Tech.Co, based out of America's Finest City: San Diego. He covers all territory West of the Mississippi river, digging deep for awesome local entrepreneurs, companies, and ideas. He's the resident Android junkie and will be happy to tell you why you should switch to the OS. When he's off the clock, Will focuses his literary talent on the art of creative writing...or you might find him surfing in Ocean Beach. Follow Will on Twitter @WJS1988